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Symbol/Line Styles command (Options menu)

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You may select from 7 line patterns and/or 38 built-in symbol styles. You may also select any of 672 characters from the Wingdings fonts for use as symbols.

To create a scatter plot (symbols at each data point, no line segments connecting the points) select 'None' for the line style of each curve.

Line width
If any line width is set to 0.0 inches, DPlot uses one unit (one printer dot or one pixel) for that line width. For output to plotters, DPlot uses a single pen width regardless of the width you specify.

NOTE: Colors and/or gray shades may not be printed correctly with very small line widths if your printer must simulate colors with dithered patterns. For example, an HP LaserJet uses patterns of black and white dots to simulate various colors and gray shades. Similarly, many color printers simulate a wide range of colors by using patterns of cyan, magenta, and yellow dots. If the pattern used by the printer to produce these simulations is wider than the specified line width, the output will not be as you expected. In particular, a 0.0” line width (1 printer dot) may result in a single white (invisible) line. For best results when printing colors or gray shades, the minimum line widths for all curves and grid lines should be set to no less than 12 dots, or 0.02 inches on a 600 dpi printer or 0.04 inches on a 300 dpi printer.

Symbol types

Select a symbol from the list, or click the "Other..." button to use a character from the Wingdings, Wingdings 2, or Wingdings 3 fonts. Note: These fonts must be installed on your system for this feature to work properly.

NOTE: There are two sets of inverted triangle symbols. The first two are placed such that the geometric center of the triangle is at the corresponding data point. The second two are placed such that they align vertically with the non-inverted (apex at the top) triangle symbols.

Symbol size
If the symbol size is set to 0.0 inches, DPlot uses a default symbol height of 1/40 of the height of the output device.

Cycle symbol colors
If checked, symbols in the selected curve cycle through the color palette rather than using the color associated with that curve. The length of the cycle is limited to the number of curves on the plot.

Symbol sizes in Y units
If checked, the symbol size uses the same scaling as the Y values on the plot. If you zoom in/out or change the extents of the plot, the symbols will be resized accordingly. This option applies to all symbols on the plot; you cannot have symbols for one curve be a fixed physical size and symbols on another curve proportional to the plot amplitudes. Symbols in the legend will be drawn a fixed size, roughly the same height as the accompanying text (if this option is unchecked then legend symbols will be the same size as those used in the plot). This option is disabled for logarithmic and probability scales on the Y axis, since there is not a 1:1 relationship between Y values and physical distance between those values.

Symbol frequency
Enter the frequency at which symbols are drawn. For example, if set to 1 then symbols will be drawn at every data point; if 2 then symbols are drawn at every other point. This option might be useful for plots with a large number of data points.

Symbol opacity

Enter the opacity of symbols as a percentage, from 0 (completely transparent: not drawn, in other words) to 100 (opaque). The opacity value is ignored for output to standard and enhanced metafiles and to displays for which the color depth is 256 or fewer colors. This option might be useful for depicting the density of data points in a plot. For opacity values less than 100%, the Outline solid symbols option is ignored.


You can quickly set the line width, symbol size, symbol frequency, and symbol opacity for ALL curves to the same values by selecting the Apply below to all curves checkbox.

Outline solid symbols
If checked, solid filled symbols (not including Wingdings characters) will be outlined in the color selected below this checkbox. If unchecked, symbols are drawn with the color associated with that curve. The checkbox setting is applied to all curves; the color selection is specific to each curve.

Fill hollow symbols with bg color
If checked, symbols with hollow interiors (not including Wingdings characters) will be filled with the background color of the plot (or legend, for symbols drawn in the legend).


Line pattern length
Specifies the length of each cycle for patterned line styles, in millimeters. Default value = 9 mm. The minimum value is 3 mm. The actual pattern length used will always be a multiple of 16 pixels/printer dots for each 16-bit pattern. Small lengths (~5 mm or less) may result in the pattern appearing to be a solid line. For best results in this case, use a smaller line width.

Examples (legend length=0.75 inches)



Click  on the toolbar.
Right-click on curves to select line and symbol styles and sizes.
Ctrl+click on a curve to bring up the Symbol/Line Styles dialog with the clicked-on curve selected.


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